Letters from our readers


The following is a selection of recent letters sent to the World Socialist Web Site.

On "Redesigned World Socialist Web Site begins Wednesday, October 22"



16 October 2008

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I am so glad that the WSWS is developing one more step. I am looking forward to seeing it next Wednesday. As an Asian, I also hope we could see Asian language articles on your web site, like Chinese, Korean, Japanese and the like, so that Asian people can have access to the ideology and the perspective of the ICFI. Thanks for your elaboration of an international revolutionary struggle.


16 October 2008

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Leeds, England

16 October 2008

On "‘Working Poor' report: Nearly 30 percent of US families subsist on poverty wages"

On the other hand, we have no one living in complete poverty. There are no unemployed, no unemployable, no homeless. The worst that can happen is that you will become "working poor," so you at least still have a subsistence income. We have no AFDC or General Assistance recipients (the traditional measure of poverty.) No families torn apart by poverty, no Americans dying from severely inadequate diets, lack of medical care, or from lack of heat in winter. We're a full-employment nation, and no one suffers from poverty...

How do we know this? Well, this is campaign season! If poverty were an issue, wouldn't our leading candidates talk about it? Wouldn't Americans rally to help fellow citizens who just aren't making it? If inadequate wages/benefits were an issue, wouldn't there be a nationwide strike—or at least an abundance of strikes? Wouldn't outraged politicians be talking about uncontrolled corporate greed and the loss of basic labor rights?

We are such a wealthy nation today that we were able to actually end welfare for the poor and use taxpayer money to pay the tax bills for the rich (so they aren't overly burdened and are thereby able to keep enhancing the US quality of life).

It's technically true that since Ronald Reagan and the Republican Revolution, we've gone from having the highest quality of life in the world down to 12th position. And it's true that, as a result of our welfare "reform," we've fallen to 29th in infant mortality—and this worsens every year. But hey, those are just statistics. And again, if this were a real issue, wouldn't the candidates be talking about it? Wouldn't the media be addressing it?



Wisconsin, USA

6 October 2008

On "US treasury meeting: How the financial aristocracy laid down the law"

I think your comparison of the meeting at the US Treasury with a very deluded King Louis talking trash with his economic advisers before the French Revolution is very funny and accurate. I fear another historical meeting as analogy, though, a meeting on February 20, 1932 when a desperate Hitler facing bankruptcy and revolt in his own party met with a section of the ruling class, the nationalist Old Farts like Krupp, Hugenberg and Fritz Thyssen. By the way, the last was a partner of President Bush's grandfather, Prescott.

The industrialists were cautious and skeptical, knowing that Hitler's followers were out for plunder, but when the working class was boiling with rage and looking in vain for leadership by the Social Democrats and the Stalinists, they were also very frightened.

What Hitler brought to the table different from many competing fuhrers was the willingness to betray the class he attracted, the bitter and dispossessed small fry with pretensions, the so-called "Mittelstand." These are the folks who thought, and think today, that their property, land and homes, gave them a place above the working class. Out of their minds with their economic loss and prone to shame at the position in which they find themselves, they were believers in Hitler's "iron promise" to put the levers of economic power in their hands. They were the first to get it in the neck when the Brown revolution was decapitated, natch.

There are sections of the Republican Party that are turning in this direction. It is particularly important not to use the term fascist loosely. But the conditions that gave rise to it in Germany of the twenties and early thirties are upon us as surely as the opportunities for great advances by the Fourth International.

I read your funding statement with great enthusiasm, and earnestly hope the parties of the Fourth International will grow faster than the fascists, in its accurate sense, who are coming to the surface in the Republican Party. Sarah Pailin was not an unlikely choice: she brings with her a familiar constituency for a ruling class that is shameless and divided only by tactical differences in how to save itself.


Toronto, Ontario

16 October 2008

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The overwhelmingly criminal nature of the bailouts that are taking place worldwide beggars belief. On the one hand, we have governments continuing to reward corporate criminals by handing over trillions of taxpayers' money in an effort to somehow avert financial meltdown, even though no one actually can say how this will help, and even though this method has proved futile from the very start.

On the other hand, we have the working class that are going to be hit with the misery and hardship caused by years of parasitic lending practices, financial speculation and the catastrophe of a deep recession.

And so as the unemployment and welfare lines grow, trillions of dollars that could have been used to alleviate the suffering of the working class have been nicely gift wrapped and handed over to the most venal unconscionable members of society as a Christmas bonus for a job well done.

This grotesque display of base, venal, arrant avarice clearly exposes the diametrically opposed class interests, and won't be forgotten by the working class when governments cry poor and cut back on welfare payments and use all means at their disposal to suppress any opposition to them.

9/11 did change everything; Bush played the fiddle while the twin towers burned.


Melbourne, Australia

17 October 2008

On "Austrian right-wing politician Jörg Haider dies in car crash

Why would someone as rich as Haider was and who "palled around with" the richest folks in Austria and who drove a massive VW limo care about how many Turks or Sudanese are moving to Austria? The answer to this question is that he didn't care. Time and time again politicians around the world use racism and other hot-button issues to snooker the workers into voting for them and, once elected, immediately go to work at dismantling unions, benefits, workplace safety and pensions. Voters need to keep their eye on the target, which is social equality. If the government is arresting Sudanese and shipping them out, how long will it be before they're shipping you somewhere?


17 October 2008